Jaggery – Good or Bad for Diabetes?

Jaggery is one of the oldest sweeteners recorded in history. This unprocessed cane sugar still retains some nutrients, unlike refined sugar. Diabetics can use jaggery without worrying about adverse health effects on their condition. However, as a general rule, they must reduce their overall intake of sugar to give their body time to adjust and balance insulin production naturally. Let us understand more about “is jaggery good for diabetes”

Nutritional Value of Jaggery

Jaggery is highly used in Asia as a sweetener, often as an alternative to sugar. However, the question: of whether is jaggery good for diabetes – still remains in the minds of people who have recently gotten diagnosed with the condition. Many people do believe that jaggery is better than sugar owing to its properties and constituents. However, the glycemic index of jaggery is still quite high making it not very suitable for people with diabetes. However, it does have some nutritional benefits and can be used infrequently in minimal quantities. Jaggery for diabetes can definitely be consumed during times of low sugar episodes to effectively raise the blood sugar level in the body

To understand if jaggery can be consumed during diabetes or not, it would be important to check the nutritional content for the same. Approximately 14 grams of jaggery will have

Nutrient          Nutritional Value
Calories          38.3g            
Fat              0                
Saturated Fat    0 grams          
Monosaturated Fat0 grams          
Sugars            9.7 gram          
Carbs and Protein9.8g              
Niacin            0.2 mg            
Pantothenic Acid  0.2 mg            

The high amount of calories in jaggery can make it slightly unsuitable for a person with diabetes to consume. It would, therefore, be better to avoid the intake of large quantities of jaggery unless absolutely necessary.

Is jaggery good for diabetic patients?

Some diabetics are concerned about whether or not they are allowed to consume jaggery because their diets can be sugar free. Is jaggery good for diabetes? Jaggery has more nutrients than refined sugar and contains less of the processed product that is commonly found in many households today. Jaggery is made from either sugarcane or date palm. During the manufacturing process – stems, stalks, and leaves are removed from raw cane and poured into cylindrical-shaped boiling pots. These pots are extremely shallow – they are wide at the bottom and tapered to end abruptly. This shape allows for more space within the container as the sap boils. The by-product of creating jaggery is much less refined than crystallised sugar. This means that it has more nutrients such as minerals and vitamins that lower blood glucose levels.

Read more  5 Reasons You've Been Insanely Thirsty Lately

Also read about are dates good for diabetes

Is it safe for diabetics to have jaggery?

Many people are turning towards healthier alternatives in terms of sugar. Natural sweeteners are more popular than artificial ones as time goes on. People suffering from diabetes can now find natural sweeteners such as honey, jaggery, with fewer calories and less sugar. When it comes down to whether or not jaggery (sugar cane extract) is healthy for diabetic patients, there are varying views on the matter. Some people believe that jaggery causes diabetes while others claim that jaggery can help those with diabetes. With sugar constantly under the microscope, it's no surprise that people would seek out better ways to get their sweet fix. Whether you have diabetes or not,  jaggery is a natural sweetener that has garnered popularity due to its  perceived health benefits, yet retained all of its original sweetness. If we compare this option to processed sugars commonly used in foods and drinks today such as white and brown sugar, one can see there are general health benefits associated with this healthy alternative. Jaggery Is Good For Diabetes because they don't have additives; therefore it won't stimulate insulin production. Know about high blood sugar symptoms.

Can Diabetics Eat Jaggery?

People with diabetes are encouraged to avoid consuming most (if not all) forms of sweet as a way of monitoring and maintaining their levels of blood sugar. This is because actual desserts such as cakes or pies tend to contain sugars and carbs that remain stable long enough for diabetics to return to normal after raising exponentially post-meal. Sweetening food naturally is healthier than replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners. Although natural jaggery is considered to be a healthier option over-processed cane sugar, it must be noted that both are equally unsafe or unhealthy for people with diabetes. Diabetics should as such take care not to consume jaggery in large quantities, which is likely to lead to an increase in the blood sugar levels in the body. However, if jaggery needs to be consumed by diabetics then it must be ensured that the consumption is only done in moderation and that other precautions such as limiting the consumption of foods rich in carbohydrates are also taken into consideration. Know about is honey good for diabetes?.

Read more  7 Ways Runners Can Safely Manage Type II Diabetes

Benefits of jaggery

Jaggery has many benefits, including iron and the ability to regulate blood pressure. It also helps in reducing oxidative stress and aids in digestion. This is why your Indian grandmother gives you a piece of jaggery after each meal! Although the high glycemic index in jaggery may not be suitable for diabetics, it can act as a prebiotic that helps with digestion post- meals. Diabetics should follow a low glycemic diet when deciding what foods to eat throughout their day. Learning about the glycemic index of foods is essential for diabetics and those who live with an insulin deficiency. Both sugar and jaggery cause a spike in the levels of insulin to reduce blood glucose levels, which can be very dangerous for diabetics on a regular basis. Jaggery has also been found to contain more nutrients than does refined sugar and is considered a better option. However, if you are a diabetic, it is never recommended to consume jaggery due to its high glycemic index score of 84.


Make the shift from artificial sweeteners to natural alternatives, not just for your health's sake, but for everyone else who suffers from artificial sweeteners. Yes, it is healthy to cut back on added sugars, but don't forget about your total calorie intake as well. Added sugars are sneakily consumed in many households. Remember that if you are consuming too many calories per day, cutting down entirely on sugars may be a good idea, and start with a step-by-step reworking of your diet instead of going straight to zero sugar diets.

A popular belief surrounding jaggery is that it contributes to many health benefits including antioxidant activity, positive effects on cardiovascular function, improved immune health, and even aid in the treatment of certain gastrointestinal disorders. Jaggery should always be used in moderation regardless of your health status as with any other food item. It may not benefit you too much if you're eating jaggery for each meal especially if you are diabetic due to its high glucose levels which can spike within minutes after ingestion. Also read about does sugar cause diabetes.

Read more  I Visited The “Toe Whisper” For The Industry’s Most In-Demand Pedicure


Does jaggery cause diabetes?

Speaking of causing diabetes, while eating jaggery might not be a direct cause, it can certainly be a factor. How this may work is that when someone, a non-diabetic individual aged 35+ years, consumes sugar, it may result in an increase in the production of insulin from the pancreas. When this phenomenon is combined with low exercise and physical activity, it can lead to lower metabolism. When the body does not metabolize the food it eats and the sugar molecules are not converted into energy at a fast pace, it can lead to the accumulation of sugar in the body, resulting in the diagnosis of diabetes. Also know about prediabetes diet.

Does jaggery increase sugar level?

Yes, jaggery or gud can increase sugar levels. This is why jaggery for diabetes may not be a good idea as it has a high glycemic index. While it may not be as high as that of direct sugar and glucose, the number is high enough for it to be considered unsafe for a person with diabetes to consume. It gets absorbed fast into the bloodstream.

What's the Glycemic Index of Jaggery?

Is jaggery good for diabetes? Probably not, as the glycemic index is 84. Jaggery has a very high sugar content and that can lead to a pretty drastic and inevitable spike in blood sugar levels in the body. Even though many people do think that it would be wise to switch the sugar for jaggery, the benefits may not be as much. The primary thing regarding diabetes and diet would be to reduce sugar levels, which may not be possible with the consumption of jaggery.

Which type of jaggery is good for diabetes?

Organic jaggery is one of the best replacements for sugar for diabetic people. Acting as a prebiotic this unprocessed jaggery properly digests your meal even though its glycemic index might be a little high. Organic jaggery is a good source of iron and does not contain any added sugar in it, which helps you to regulate your blood sugar levels. Organic jaggery is a good option to satisfy your sugar cravings but intaking jaggery is not recommended for a diabetic person due to its high glycemic index. 

Which sweetener is best for diabetics?

Several natural and artificial sweeteners are good for a diabetic. Some of these sweeteners are stevia, Tagatose, sucralose, aspartame, saccharin, neotame, monk fruit, allulose, etc. These sweeteners are good replacements for sugar, they satisfy your sugar cravings without affecting your blood sugar levels to an extent that intake of sugar might have affected.


Recommended For You

About the Author: Tung Chi